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Conspicuous consumption 

The summer's five best events for food and drink

COCKTAILS IN THE GARDEN -- THROUGH SEPTEMBER

Since spring has sprung, there's no more drinking alone in the dark corner booth of a dingy bar. The Atlanta Botanical Garden serves flowery drinks every Thursday night. The event pairs a new cocktail and flower each week to highlight a different section of the Garden. The result is a night on the town that means a stroll (and a drink) among the flora and fauna of summertime. $12. Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. 1345 Piedmont Ave. 404-876-5859. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

LOCAL FOOD GUIDE RELEASE PARTY -- JUNE 4

No self-respecting food guide gets released without lots of foodie fanfare. With its posh release party held at the recently opened JCT Kitchen, Georgia Organics' second annual Local Food Guide is no exception. Every vegetable worth its seed is on the menu. Free guides are offered to Atlanta food fans as they mingle with chefs and farmers. Look for a little bit of pulled pork, greens and biscuits, with complimentary beer for washing-down purposes. Free admission for Georgia Organics members, $10 general. 6:30-8 p.m. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-355-2252. www.georgiaorganics.org.

STONE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE WALKING AND WINE TOURS -- JUNE 16, JULY 21, AUG. 18

While Stone Mountain may well be known as one of the most family-friendly sites in the Atlanta area, there's no reason adults both young and mature can't enjoy the fruits of summer. Which is what makes this walk-and-sip event such a nice option in the warmer climates, as even the shops and galleries present various samplings of the Stone Mountain Village restaurants in an hour-long guided tour. Those include wines from Bundos Italian Market, Wells Cargo Café, Continental Coffee & Sweets and the Sycamore Grill. Free. 6-8 p.m. 770-879-4971. www.stonemountainvillage.com.

DOWNTOWN ATLANTA RESTAURANT WEEK -- AUG. 13-19

True-blue foodies rarely can call themselves thrifty. After all, when it comes to a great meal, it's often no-prices-barred. During Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week, participating local restaurants offer three-course dinners for $25 per person. So for at least one week out of the year, even discerning palates can be satisfied at discount prices. (Just remember to tip based on the real price there, cheapo!) Times and locations vary. www.atlantadowntown.com.

BBQ, BLUES AND BLUEGRASS -- AUG. 18

For soulful Southern rockers with a penchant for the banjo's twang, Decatur's seventh annual BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass is the grail of summer festivals. The live music offers attendees something to tap their impatient feet to while waiting in line for OB's Real Pit Out-N-Back BBQ. There is a kids' corner at this festival, but parents will be up to their elbows in barbecue jamming to music from Hair of the Dog, Stonehouse Posse, Porch Bottom Boys and Solstice Sisters. $5. Harmony Park, Decatur. www.decaturbbqfestival.com.

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